Jacksonville College hosted its first USTA Campus Showdown on Saturday and the day not only served to increase awareness in the school's new tennis program, but produced several exciting and competitive matches to boot.
“I want to thank everyone that came out to make it a great day for Jacksonville College tennis,” Kenneth Michaud, JC head tennis coach said. “I was pleased with the turnout and the community's support. I also want to thank the Jaguar Club members for helping out and coach (Lynn) Nabi and the other coaches here who gave of their time to participate.”
Several of the men and women that comprise the Jaguar/Lady Jaguar tennis teams played in the tournament and saw a nice amount of success.
On a lighter note, one of the big surprises of the tournament, according to Michaud, was Leasa Ailshie, JC's associate women's basketball coach, knocking off Anderia Callahan, who is a member of the Lady Jag tennis team, 6-4, in the quarterfinal round of women's singles.
Maria Coronel, who is gaining her NJCAA eligibility after transferring to JC from Louisiana Tech, defeated Lanborghina Robinson, a JC recruit from Houston in the finals of women's singles.
In men's singles, Johnathan Taylor, the Jags' top player, easily won the tournament.
Taylor said that it was a memorable day for him.
“I would definitely say it was a good experience to win the first tournament that has ever been played here,” Taylor said.
Other Jags to advance deep were Gabe Knight and Tyler Smith.
Two local 13-year-olds, Austin Pierce and Adam Verhelle squared off in bracket play, with Pierce winning 5-1 to advance into the quarters.
There was a big upset in men's doubles where Gil Lim & Gabe Knight defeated, 6-4, Tyler Smith & Joseph Quandt in the finals.
“It's pretty cool to win the championship in doubles in the first tournament on campus,” Lim, who is from Las Vegas, Nev., said. “It was our tournament to win or to lose, so I am glad we won.”
Daniel Apacible & Tyler Sargent pulled off the stunner by downing the No. 1 seed team of Johnathan Taylor & Travis Daignbault to advance to the semi-final round.
All of the aforementioned men are members of the Jag tennis team, except for Daignbault.
Coronel & Britney Sibley of JC won the women's doubles title.
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